A PAIR of Solihull men apart of a gang of robbers who stole more than £70,000 from a cash van have been jailed.
Luke O’Brien, 28, of Vauxhall Crescent in Chelmsley Wood, were jailed for six years while one his accomplices Chad Pulisciano, 23, of Dickens Heath Road in Shirley, has been given five-and-a-half years behind bars.
The other gang members included Thomas Sidwell and Chad Pulisciano who were arrested together on Stratford Road in Shirley on April 29, 2015 after an officer recognised Pulisciano from CCTV taken from a campsite which showed him driving a LDV van used in the robbery.
The gang, from Birmingham, targeted the vehicle outside the Co-Op on Upper Hoswell Road in Malvern about 10.45am on April 20, 2015.
Three security staff were threatened by two masked thieves wielding a pickaxe handle while they were filling up a cash machine.
Just a few hours later, police stopped brothers Luke and Lewis O’Brien, Ryan Weir and Ryan Griffin in a car near Junction 3A of the M42.
In the footwell of the Seat Ibiza was a rucksack containing £74,460 along with a set of other vehicle keys and a copy of a webpage which contained details to a caravan park in Tewkesbury.
All four men were arrested and detectives headed to the caravan park.
Once there, they found the keys from the men’s car opened both the caravan and the door to an LDV van which matched the description of the one used in the robbery – albeit with different number plates.
Inside the caravan was a sledgehammer and a pick axe handle matching the weapons used.
Phone records put Pulisciano in the Tewkesbury area and Sidwell in the Birmingham area at the time the robbery took place.
Detectives believed Pulisciano was one of the robbers and Sidwell went to the area to drive him back to Birmingham.
Luke and Lewis O’Brien, Griffin and Puliscano pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery at Hereford Crown Court on Friday (December 18). Sidwell and Weir admitted conspiracy to handle stolen goods.
Det Insp Ben West said: “This is a great result and follows some brilliant detective work between West Mercia Police and ourselves.
“What we have here is a highly-organised yet cowardly group of greedy career criminals who rely on audacious heists to make their money.”
He added the number of offences of this nature was thankfully continuing to decrease but they were not complacent about crime of this type and they would always relentlessly pursue offenders.
We also work closely with the cash-in-transit industry to prevent robberies on this scale and to keep the people who work in this field safe.”